cover image The Little Band

The Little Band

James Sage. Margaret K. McElderry Books, $13.95 (25pp) ISBN 978-0-689-50516-4

``At first there was the sound of faraway music,'' and then six barefooted children march through the town and countryside, captivating the inhabitants with their sweet music. Initially, everyone wants to know who they are, but eventually even the animals are content just to listen. Resembling a rainbow of colors, the children wear hats made of flower petals and butterfly wings, and depart as mysteriously as they arrived, ``leaving behind no hint of who they were, or why they had come, or where they were going. But long afterward people remembered their beautiful faraway music. And nothing was ever the same again.'' Like a melody that lingers in the heart, Narahashi's ( Who Said Red? ; Who Wants One? ) vibrant, winsome illustrations and Sage's intriguing text will bring readers much joy. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)